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ON Release 2005






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    Released: July 2005
    RRP:  £29.99
    Cat No:  3711509353

    Granada Ventures celebrates one of the most important British studios with the release of the limited edition Rank 70th anniversary DVD box set containing 8 films from a golden age of British film.

    Rank Films was established by Lord J Arthur Rank (1888 - 1972) in 1935 and throughout the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s became one of the major powerhouses in the European film industry. Lord Rank entered the film industry as a way of propagating his Methodist faith through film. When he failed to get distribution of his first film The Turn of The Tide in 1935 he set about acquiring not only the means of production but also distribution and exhibition. By encouraging small independent film makers such as Carol Reed, David Lean, Alfred Hitchcock,  Lauder and Gilliat and Powell & Pressburger and many others, he developed films that could rival any from Hollywood while managing to consolidate the demands of art and business. By 1946 the Rank organisation had over 33,000 employees, more than the newly established National Health System.


    Running Time:   88 mins
    Video Aspect Ratio:  4:3
    Back and White
    DVD extras:   Biographies

    Noel Coward’s 1945 classic story of a brief and deeply moving romance staring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard.  Directed by David Lean this sensitive portrayal of two married lovers thrown together was a landmark in British film and is often described as one of the most perfectly conceived films of all time by mixing realism with high drama becoming the inspiration for generations of filmmakers.

    THE 39 STEPS

    Running Time:  106 mins approx
    Video Aspect Ratio  4:3
    Black and White
    DVD Extras: Biographies, Stills Gallery, Documentary on Alfred Hitchcock’s Early Years

    Based on John Buchan’s story and directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935 this is a classic suspense thriller.  Starring Oscar Winner Robert Donat as Richard Hannay, a man falsely accused of murder who goes on the run with the police in full pursuit. With its mixture of eroticism, black humour and sexual chemistry with the leading lady Madeleine Carroll it makes it one of Hitchcock’s best early films and was voted by the BFI as one of the top 5 British films of all time.


    Running Time:  99 mins approx
    Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3
    Black and White
    DVD Extras:  Original Theatrical Trailer

    A bodice ripping romp starring Margaret Lockwood as the wicked Lady Barbara, who will stop at nothing to get her own way Set in merry Restoration England this hugely popular film made a star of James Mason as the highwayman lover of Lockwood and was viewed as being very suggestive when first released in 1945. A very enjoyable costume drama, which celebrates the unleashing of social and gender boundaries. Lockwood is excellent as the cool, calculating bitch who wants everything from life and Mason shows her the way. Based on theatre tickets this is also the 9th most popular film ever in the UK.


    Running Time:  110 mins approx
    Video Aspect Ratio:  4:3
    DVD Extras:  A profile of Genevieve, Biographies, Still Galleries

    This charming romantic comedy was one of the hit films in 1953 winning a BAFTA for Best British Film and receiving 2 Oscar nominations. Starring Dinah Sheridan, John Gregson, Kay Kendall and Kenneth Moore and soundtrack by Larry Adler’s harmonica, this story of a vintage car on the London to Brighton run made box office stars of its young cast, With its winning mixture of light hearted comedy it has become one of Britain’s most affectionately remembered films.


    Running Time:  153 mins approx
    Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3
    DVD Extras; Scenes Stills Gallery, Theatrical Trailer, Documentary and The Ballet of the Red shoes featurette 

    This Powell & Pressburger classic film is considered the best dance films of all time. Starring Moira Shearer as Vicky Page, a young ballerina who becomes torn between a life in ballet and her love for her composer husband.

    With its brilliant photography by legendary Oscar winning cinematographer Jack Cardiff, the film won two Academy Awards and is visually one of the most innovative and beautiful British films of all time.


    Running Time:  100 mins approx 
    Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3
    DVD Extras: In depth biographies, Documentary on cinematographer of Jack Cardiff 

    Written, produced and directed by the legendry team of Powell and Pressburger, this classic film stars David Niven as Squadron leader Peter Carter who survives a plan crash when all his crew have died. Falling in love with radio operator June played by Kim Hunter, a heavenly reaper visits Peter and claims he should have died. A court in heaven is called and Peter has to fight for his right for life.

    A romantic fantasy and described by Martin Scorsese as one the best movies of all time.


    Running Time: 155 mins approx
    Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3
    Black and White 

    Winner in 1948 of two Academy awards for best film and best actor this is a tour de force for its star the legendry  Laurence Oliver.  Delivering one his greatest Shakespearean performances as Hamlet and co- starring Jean Simmons as Ophelia.

    Running Time: 137 mins approx
    Video Aspect Ratio: 4:3

    Directed, produced and starring  Laurence Olivier this 1945 production features a cast of the crème de la crème of British Acting talent. Viewed as the definitive Shakespearean film it spectacular colour and effects  was filmed during the end of the war and was viewed as a nationalistic call to victory.

    The James Stewart Collection

    Jimmy Stewart, one of the best-loved stars American cinema ever produced and one of the greatest screen actors in film history. He worked equally well in comedy, romance, serious drama, westerns, war films and adventure movies: a true Hollywood legend. 

    The James Stewart Collection, feates five of his greatest films: Rear Window, Destry Rides Again, Vertigo, Winchester 73 and Harvey.  Five award winning, beloved and enduring films in one stunning DVD collection, a must for all film fans. The collection is released on DVD on 17 October 2005.

    Rear Window
    James Stewart stars alongside Grace Kelly in Alfred Hitchcock’s edgy suspense thriller. Holed up in his tiny flat with a broken leg, photographer L.B.Jeffries (Stewart) turns voyeur on his neighbours. And he soon becomes convinced that one neighbour has murdered his wife… 
    Destry Rides Again
    This hilarious Western satire sees Stewart in the lead opposite Marlene Dietrich as Tom Destry, a supposedly tough law enforcement man who doesn't like guns. 

    Stewart stars in Hitchcock’s haunting tale of obsession and deceit. Stewart plays a retired police detective who becomes swept up in a complex crime and falls for the wrong woman. His obsession ends in tragedy in this truly spellbinding masterpiece of cinema…The plot is tricky and in the cold light of day is very improbable yet Hitchcock easily draws you along with Stewart into this murky story. Stewart has never looked so haunted.

    Winchester 73
    One of Stewart’s most memorable films, Anthony Mann's edgy, psychological western, Winchester '73 features one of his most powerful performances as a man obsessed. The final deadly shootout is spectacular and the film is one of the genre’s most enduring classics.

    In this classic Hollywood comedy Stewart plays Elwood P.Dowd a wealthy drunk whose sunny philosophy and inebriated antics are tolerated by most of the townsfolk. That is, until Elwood begins claiming that he sees a man-sized rabbit called Harvey…

     Title: The James Stewart Collection 
     Release Date: 17 October 2005   

    RRP: £39.99 

    Beatles' Biggest Secrets
    They are the world’s greatest ever pop band. A group who revolutionised pop music and changed the way we all live forever. But behind the well-scrubbed faces was another darker story of sex, drugs and rock and roll.

    Fremantle Media announces the release of Beatles’ Biggest Secrets, released for the first time on 19 September, 2005.

    Beatles’ Biggest Secrets features never seen before footage including brand new, exclusive interviews and explosive stories,†revealing the inside story of the most successful band in pop history

    The story begins with John Lennon's death in1980, then tracks back to the early 1960s when four Liverpool lads  - Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon – were performing in small dark sweaty clubs most notably The Cavern, where they were spotted by Brian Epstein, who helped catapult them to superstardom. The story follows their progress from the early days through to global domination, showing the inside story warts and all.

    This is the Beatles at their best - and their worst!

    Title: Beatles’ Biggest Secrets  
    Release Date: 19th September 2005
    RRP: £12.99

    Dead Man

    "Dead Man is Jim Jarmusch’s dark, bitter commentary on modern American life cloaked in the form of a surrealist western," All

    For the first time ever on DVD, comes the much sought after surrealist western Dead Man, directed by pioneering director Jim Jarmusch, who has given us classics such as the Elvis homage Mystery Train and the fantastic Down By Law. Dead Man is released courtesy of Universal Pictures on 3 October 2005.

    The film features a stunning all star cast, with the remarkable Johnny Depp (Charlie And The Chocolate Factory) in the lead role and appearances from Crispin Glover (Charlie’s Angels), John Hurt (Harry Potter), screen legend Robert Mitchum (Cape Fear), Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects) and Lance Henriksen (Aliens). There are also cameos from Iggy Pop, Billy Bob Thornton, Alfred Molina and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it uncredited appearance from Steve Buscemi.

    Set in 19th century America, in the Wild West town of Machine, where the only law is kill or be killed, a recently orphaned Cleveland man named William Blake (Depp), arrives on the train to take up the position of factory accountant.  But upon his arrival, Blake is told by the factory owner (Mitchum) that the job has already been filled. He becomes a fugitive after murdering a man in self-defence. Wounded and helpless, Blake is befriended by Nobody (Gary Farmer), a wandering Native American who considers him to be a ghostly manifestation of the similarly named poet. Nobody aids Blake in his flight from three bumbling bounty hunters, preparing him for his final journey a return to the world of the spirits. 

     The beautifully contrasted black-and-white photography of Robby M¸ller sets a poetic, dreamy mood and the astounding Neil Young soundtrack (“Haunting electric guitar score” Time Out Film) adds to the depth. 

    The disc will be available exclusively from Virgin until January 3, 2006.

     Title: Dead Man  
     Release Date: 3 October 2005   

    RRP: £15.99 

    Second Sight

    “With his trademark shock of white hair and ultra-cool rock star persona, Jim Jarmusch is the archetypal auteur of American independent film. Steadfastly resisting the sirens of Hollywood, Jarmusch has fashioned stylish, worldly, and thoroughly hip movies that have been the toast of the international film circuit”

    Second Sight is delighted to announce the release of  2 Films By Jim Jarmusch featuring a pair of his fantastic films Night On Earth and Down By Law.  These critically acclaimed unique and stylish comedies, a must for all hip film fans, are released on DVD on 17 October 2005.

    Night On Earth is Jarmusch’s slick original comedy, featuring a collection of five vignettes set in the enclosed space of a cab ride, each occurring simultaneously in five different cities and five different time zones: Los Angeles, New York City, Paris, Rome, and Helsinki. Starring an all star cast including Winona Rider (Girl Interupted), BÈatrice Dalle and Roberto Benigini (Life Is Beautiful)

    “The beauty in life is in small details not big events” Jim Jarmusch

    “Jarmusch again demonstrates his mastery of comedy of the oblique” 
    New York Times

    Down By Law is the film that firmly established Jim Jarmusch as the coolest director on the American Independent scene. Three unlikely convicts find them selves thrown together in a New Orleans jail cell. There’s Zack (Tom Waits) an out-of-work DJ, Jack (Jack Lurie) a pimp and Roberto (Roberto Benigni), a crazy Italian immigrant. The three mismatched men team up for an unlikely jail break. “The music (by Waits and Lurie) and mood are essential components to Jarmusch's poetry”. Time Out 

    “The film's most delightful triumph is to demonstrate that 'Ees a sad an' 
    beautiful world” Time Out

    I would call the style of the film ‘neo-beat-noir-comedy’, with a story-line that openly accepts conventions and an atmosphere that is part nightmare and part-fairy tale” 
    Jim Jarmusch

    Title: 2 Films By Jim Jarmusch   Release Date: 17 October 2005    RRP: £24.99


    Who Can You Trust…When You No Longer Trust Yourself?

    For the first time on DVD comes Alex Winter’s critically acclaimed dark psychological thriller Fever, starring Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives). A moody, paranoid thriller that tracks the psychological unraveling of a young man living alone in New York City. It will be available to own on DVD courtesy of Parasol Peccadillo on 3 October 2005.

    Struggling artist Nick Parker (Henry Thomas),pays the bills by teaching drawing to the elderly. Living in a squalid Brooklyn apartment Nick avoids contact with his family, including his sister Charlotte (Teri Hatcher). The murder of his landlord sets off a chain of troubling events. But are they real… or do they take place in Nick's imagination?

    Winter, working hand in hand with cinematographer Joe DeSalvo (Johnny Suede), creates a stylish, claustrophobic world that is revealed strictly from Nick's scattered point of view. In maintaining this distorted vision, Winter allows the audience to truly view the story through Nick's muddled eyes, resulting in an eerie, dark thriller. Thomas’ persuasive dread soaked performance keeps you gripped until the very end.

    Winter is best known for his role opposite Keanu Reeves in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but he honed his directing skills on commercials and music videos, as well as directing off-the-wall comedy Freaked. 

    Title: Fever    Release Date: 26 September 2005   RRP: £19.99  Cat No: PPD102

    Wild Side

    Parasol Peccadillo is delighted to announce the release of French director Sebastien Lifshitz’ provocative drama Wild Side, a stunning thought-provoking story about a love triangle with a difference. It will be available to own on DVD on 3 October 2005.

    Stephanie (StÈphanie Michelini) lives in Paris, where she moved many years ago to start a new life as a woman. Now working as a prostitute, she shares her love between two men: Mikhail, an unemployed Russian immigrant and Jamel, a street hustler. The trio, battling with the harsh realities of their lives, find solace in each other’s arms. 

    When she receives a call from her terminally ill mother, the trio return to the rural village where Stephanie grew up. The bleak solitude of the countryside evokes a flood of memories and emotions. Stephanie is haunted by her childhood as a boy and by the early death of her sister, but with the support of her lovers, she comes to terms with the events that have made her who she is today.

    Exquisitely shot by AgnËs Godard (Beau Travail) and with a haunting musical score by Jocelyn Pook (Eyes Wide Shut), the landscape of the film evokes a time of tranquility and past innocence. 

    With a stunning debut performance from the lead, StÈphanie Michelini, and featuring I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy performed by Antony from Antony And The Johnsons, Wild Side explores and questions male identity in a sympathetic and non-judgemental way. Ultimately it shows us how the new family is anything but nuclear and instead is all about humanity, compassion and a sense of belonging.

    Lifshitz gained international critical acclaim in 1998 with his short Open Bodies (Les Corps Ouverts), then went on to direct his first feature, Presque Rien (2000) followed by The Crossing (La Traverse). 

    Title: Wild Side   Release Date: 5 September 2005  RRP: £19.99  Cat No:PPD101

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Material Copyright © 2005 Nigel Watson